Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey

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Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey

Yes, I know in the subject line of the email version of the M9 I said “FexEx.” I am an idiot. With the cat out of the FedEx box, however, there’s nothing I can do…
Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey
1. FedEx Cup changes officially official…
As had been previously established, the Tour will move from four playoff events to three. Most dramatically, the rumored staggered Tour Championship scoring, with the No. 1 player on the points list starting at 10 under, is now a reality. The next four players in the standings will being a 8 under through 5 under. No 6-10 will start at 4 under. Every five players after that will start a stroke further back, with No. 26 through 30 beginning at even par.
  • There will also now be a $10 million regular season bonus pool sponsored by Wyndham Rewards, aptly named the “Wyndham Rewards Top 10.”
  • The FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap prior to Labor Day, thus finishing before the NFL season kicks off. The field for The Northern Trust will be 125 players, 70 for the BMW Championship, and 30 for the Tour Championship, with the points remaining the same for the first two events.
  • Regarding the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10, the Tour says it, “will also put an even greater premium on excelling over the course of the FedExCup Regular Season.”
  • The leader of the top 10 will earn $2 million, with the runner-up pocketing $1.5 million. The existing FedEx Cup bonus pool will now total $60 million-$25 million more than the existing pool. Accordingly, the FedEx Cup champion will earn $15 million, rather than the $10 million in the current system.
2. …still not playoffs
And yet…still the Playoffs are not playoffs, as Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner points out.
  • He also offers this take: “In a move that surely will alienate many of its hardcore fans, the Tour on Tuesday unveiled its new format for the Tour Championship. Beginning next year, players will begin the week at East Lake with a predetermined total based on their position on the points list, the leader starting at 10 under par.”
  • “In an age of points and projections, the Tour’s desire for simplicity is understandable – RIP, Steve Sands’ whiteboard – but its new-look finale violates the spirit of competitive sports…There are no head starts in sports. That’s the beauty of them.”
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3. Details in amateur golfer’s death
Look, this story is just awful. May Celia Barquin Arozamena rest in peace. That said, details were scarce in the initial report of her on-course murder, yesterday, so I made the decision to wait until there was more of substance to report. Now there is. It’s horrible. Here it is.
  • Per an ABC News report…”A homeless man has attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, according to police.”
  • “Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University (ISU)…Barquin was found Monday morning (local time) in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 50 kilometres north of Des Moines.”
  • “Police were called to the golf course around 10:20am to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.”
  • “Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed on Tuesday against Mr Richards.”
  • “A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said…Officers found Mr Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.”
4. Tiger Woods off probation
Golf Channel Digital report…”Tiger Woods’ year-long probation stemming from last year’s DUI arrest has been terminated a month early.”
  • “According to Sam Smink of WPTV, Woods, 42, was let off probation early for successfully completing all regular and special conditions of his probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving and entering a diversion program last October.”
  • “Under the conditions of the program, Woods was required to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school and undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program. He was also subject to random drug and alcohol testing under the program.”
Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey
5. The Full Dechambeau
Bryson DeChambeau, scientific method in tow, is testing the effects of morning dew on his golf ball.
  • Before we get into specifics: I don’t think there’s anything crazy about this. Golf is a game of variables and minimizing misses. Any effort to further understand a variable or minimize a potential miss is wise. Full stop.
  • Anyway, here’s what BAD was doing per Christopher Powers, “DeChambeau, who does things a little differently to say the least, took his preparation to a different level on Tuesday at East Lake ahead of this week’s Tour Championship. According to the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin, who was watching DeChambeau closely on the range, the Mad Scientist was spraying his golf balls with water to simulate morning dew, because of course he was.”
Photo via PGATour.com’s Sean Martin.
6. Spieth’s violation settled
…but we know not how.
  • ESPN’s Bob Harig…”With next week’s Ryder Cup, Spieth will have played in just 24 events this season after competing in 24 last year. All along, he had planned on being at East Lake, where he won the 2015 FedEx Cup.”
  • “PGA Tour regulations stipulate that a player in violation of the policy is subject to a “Major Penalty,” which can include a minimum fine of $20,000 and a suspension of at least three tournaments.”
  • Don’t expect Spieth to be sitting out any tournaments. In fact, according to the PGA Tour’s Andy Pazder, it appears that Spieth will be adding events in the coming season.
  • “We have come to a resolution,” said Pazder, the tour’s chief tournament and competitions officer, on Tuesday at East Lake, site of this week’s tournament. “You will see it next season. I think it will be good for the tour, for fans and for golf in general.”
I guess we’ll look forward to that next season…
7. Jay Seawell reflects
PGATour.com’s Helen Ross filed an excellent look at the work of Alabama men’s golf coach, Jay Seawell.
  • A bit…”Under Seawell’s guidance, the Crimson Tide won national championships in 2013 and ’14, and finished runner-up in 2012. Five of his former players are on the PGA TOUR right now – Justin Thomas, Trey Mullinax, Tom Lovelady, Bud Cauley and Michael Thompson.”
  • “Seawell says Thomas was probably 15 years old when he started recruiting the future world No. 1. He remembers getting a call from someone who said the teenager might be interested in attending Alabama and Seawell followed up immediately. After all, he says, Thomas could have gone anywhere in the country. He had the “buffet in front of him,” the coach explains.”
  • “The recruitment on him started from him, believe it or not, and that’s the way it happens a lot,” Seawell says. “There are a lot of players out there and so he just kind of sent word through a third party who called my phone.”…”They said, ‘Hey, I think Justin Thomas would be somebody who’d be interested. They wanted me to know that if you’re interested they would like for me to watch him play.’
  • “So it kind of was initiated by Justin and his father and of course, when we first saw him we were like, ‘Wow, this is great.’”
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8. USGA survey time!
The USGA wants your feedback on the distance debate.
  • As for the essence of the questionnaire, Geoff Shackelford had this to say.
  • “The USGA/R&A distance survey is a bit like a Robert Trent Jones design: needlessly long, seemingly takes longer to get through than you think, isn’t the most rewarding experience and you’d never do it again….But unlike some tired old RTJ effort, this one really won’t cost you a dime and will entertain at times if you are intrigued by reading between the lines or general survey construction.”
 
9. Out of bounds
I want to call your attention to the fine work Ms. Amanda Rose is doing for GolfWRX. She’s only made a handful of videos at this point, but this former college golfer has something of the spirit and substance of Katie Nolan; and it’s a voice we certainly could use in the golf media space.

Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey

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